The Baywide Premier Women's final was, as expected, a hard-fought battle with both teams giving everything they had through to the final second and the winner unknown until the very end.

In those final minutes, Rangataua managed to score a try, set up by Black Fern Gayle Broughton, to secure a one-point lead over Rangiuru, who had been in front for most of the game.

Unfortunately for Rangiuru, they were unable to reverse that one point lead and lost their bid to take the Baywide title from Rangataua, who scooped the 22-21 win on their home turf.

The Baywide Women's final was a hard-fought battle to the end. Photo/George Novak
The Baywide Women's final was a hard-fought battle to the end. Photo/George Novak

This year was Rangataua's second consecutive attempt at the title after losing to Waikite in their first year of the Baywide competition in 2017.

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Rangataua coach Paul Pou was ecstatic for his team.

"It's a real sense of achievement for our team. I'm proud," Pou said.

There were some intense moments for Pou as he watched the sides battle away, admitting there were times his nerves were getting the better of him.

Rangataua's Gayle Broughton makes a run for it. Photo/George Novak
Rangataua's Gayle Broughton makes a run for it. Photo/George Novak

Broughton came on about halfway through the first half - a strategic move by Pou, who said they needed to play another strong leader on the field - prompting many cheers from Rangataua supporters.

Broughton's presence was felt immediately. She made ground, was hard to catch and worked seamlessly with the fast and always-ready Renee Wickliffe at fullback.

Rangiuru fielded a powerful side and were first to put points on the board with co-captain Christie Yule scoring a try inside the first 20 minutes, followed soon after by a second try by Braxton Walker - both of which were successfully converted.

Rangataua came out on top. Photo/George Novak
Rangataua came out on top. Photo/George Novak

Rangataua's Sam Spence was first to score for her side despite Rangiuru doing their best to hold them off the try line. At the end the first half, Rangiuru led 14-5.

Rangataua performed better in the second half, reducing their deficit to two points, 14-12 when captain Kate Henwood secured the first try of the half.

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Rangataua managed to score again, but their 17-14 lead was short-lived as Rangiuru took back the control right until the final minutes.

"Our girls dug it in, and they all hung tough," Pou said.

Rangataua celebrate after the finals. Photo / George Novak
Rangataua celebrate after the finals. Photo / George Novak

Pou said this season had been "a journey", and everyone involved had played a part in their success.

"It's not just one coach; it's everyone as a unit," he said.

This year was Rangiuru's first time qualifying for the finals, which is a feat in itself.

What was even more of a stand out was that the visitors managed to dominate much of it, with a powerful forward pack which ran straight, every player defending hard and doing their job.

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Jimi-Leigh McLean of Rangiuru. Photo / George Novak
Jimi-Leigh McLean of Rangiuru. Photo / George Novak

Head coach Jimi McLean said the loss was "totally disappointing".

He doubted there was much more his side could have done to secure a win and was proud of the efforts the women had put in.

He's unsure what is in store of his side next year but hopes the women's rugby talent will be spread around all clubs in the region.

Baywide Premier Women's final placings:
1. Rangataua
2. Rangiuru
3. Waikite
4. Whakarewarewa
5. Waimana
6. Rotoiti
7. Matata